On Day 3, IJF President Marius Vizer, along with countless other IJF Executive members, hosted the President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Thomas Bach, to witness an historic day for both judo and for the Olympic Games, as Shohei Ono of Japan took his second Olympic title in an epic final against world champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili.
During the preliminary rounds we were honoured by the presence of His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince ALBERT II, IOC Member and black belt judoka! He looked on as Cedric Bessi of Monaco competed in the -73kg category.
President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, joined the judo family on day 1 of competition, to cheer on the ever-powerful and successful French team. Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun Erdene of Mongolia witnessed an incredible bronze medal for Mongolia, as three-time Olympian Munkhbat Uratsetseg took home her first Olympic medal. Vjosa Osmani Sadriu, President of the Republic of Kosovo, has also been an eye-witness to key historic moments for her country, as Kosovo won their second and third ever medals in Olympic history!
International Olympic Committee members from all over the world also gathered in the Nippon Budokan to watch the excitement of judo come home, many of whom presented the medals to the Olympic champions. H.R.H. Prince Feisal Al Hussein I from Jordan, Olympic Champions and IOC Members from Hungary Mr Pal Schmitt and Mr. Daniel Gyurta, Ms Aicha Garad Ali of Djibouti, Mr Karl Stoss from Austria, all enjoyed the beauty that Olympic judo has to offer.
National Olympic Committee Presidents came to cheer for their judoka as well, including Japanese Olympic Committee President Mr Yamashita Yasuhiro, President and Vice Presidents of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud, and His Highness Fahad Al Saud Vice President. Krisztian Kulcsar, President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee also cheered on the Hungarian judoka of the day, as Brazilian Olympic Committee President Mr Paulo Wanderley Teixeira witnessed the first medal for his country.
On the judo tribune we also found Mr Aziz Abduhakimov, Minister of Tourism and Sports for the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr Khaltmaa Battulga, President of the Mongolian Judo Association, Mr Mehmet Kasapglu, Minister of Youth and Sports Turkey and IJF Partner Max Herve George. ANOCA President Mr Mustapha Berraf, ASOIF President, Mr Francesco Ricci Bitti, AIPS President Mr Gianni Merlo, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports of the French Republic Mr Jean-Michel Blanquer and International School Sport Federation President Mr Laurent Petrynka attended and enjoyed the show.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to share these unforgettable Olympic moments with our friends, and wish them and their countries the best of luck at the remainder of these Olympic Games!